F E Raven – God never rebuilds what has failed but rather falls back on His promises

While many were claiming to have the Lord with them, I just longed for the experience through contrition and repentance, of being with Him in what He is doing currently.

Frederick Raven

The position that confronts each one of us now is what are we to do as involved in the sorrowful scattering and breakdown of a testimony we had so learned to value and love.  To find a way out of it, I cannot.  I am part of it and contributed to it.  But to find a way through it is my whole concern and that Christ may be my object and motive.  While not wishing to speak of myself, my experience found me quite alone and cut off from my brethren – my beloved wife and family…I had nothing.  But, thank God, in His sovereign mercy and exceeding grace I had Christ – my Lord and Saviour.  It is easy to say it, but it has to be proved that therein lies the precious inward secret that alone can make one superior to the most testing of circumstances.  It is just, “Thou remainest when all else is gone”…I then remembered that from the divine side there is no failure – the unity of the Spirit remains.  Does not F E Raven say that God never rebuilds what has failed but rather falls back on His promises?  While many were claiming to have the Lord with them, I just longed for the experience through contrition and repentance, of being with Him in what He is doing currently.

(Extracted from a letter by Brian Deck, NZ  1979)

Golden Nugget Number 19

Golden Nuggets are published by Saville Street Distribution, Venture, Princes Esplanade, Walton on the Naze, CO14 8QD  UK

A Brief Outline of the Books of the Bible – Ephesians

In Ephesians we have the relationships of the saints with God the Father, and with the ascended Christ.

Outline of Bible coverIn Ephesians we have the relationships of the saints with God the Father, and with the ascended Christ.

First we have our calling, involving our relationships with God and with the Father. Then we have our acquaintance with all God’s plans, everything being headed up in Christ. Hence we know our inheritance, and our place as heirs, the Holy Spirit having been given as earnest till the redemption of the inheritance.

In chap.1, Paul prays to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ (Christ being looked at as man), that the saints might know what God’s calling and inheritance is, and that we might appreciate the power that works in us. This power was shown in Christ, when God raised Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand, setting Him over all things, and making the church His body and completeness.

Then, in sovereign grace, we are quickened, raised, and made to sit in heavenly places in Christ. This shows the exceeding riches of His kindness to us. The Gentiles were afar off; the Jews were dispensationally near, all forming one new man in Chris – the dwelling-place of God on earth by the Spirit. Thus we have the assembly connected both with Christ as His body on high, and as God’s dwelling-place on earth by His Spirit.

The mystery is now introduced for the first time. It is a witness of the all-various wisdom of God in heavenly places. The apostle then prays to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ that we may realise the full blessedness of this, Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith. Being rooted and grounded in love, we are to be able to comprehend the infinitely wide extent of the character of God’s glory, and to know the love of Christ. So we can at the centre of it all according to the fullness of God Himself. With this he ascribes glory to God in the church in all ages, implying the distinct, continuous existence of the assembly.

Note that in chapter 3:15 read “every family,” instead of “the whole family.” (As in Darby version) In verse 18, the breadth, and depth, and length, and height is not “of the love.” The whole of chapter 3 is parenthetic, and the first words of chapter 4 connect themselves with the beginning of chapter 3.

At the start of chapter 4 the apostle unfolds, in connection with the headship of Christ, the various unities into which we are brought. There are three unities: a real one, one of profession, and a universal one in God. First, one body, one Spirit and one hope. Secondly, one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Thirdly, one God and Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in us all. We are to walk in lowliness, so as to endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Then we have the gifts – instruments of building and edification. The gifts are from the ascended Man, who overcame Satan and led him captive, so as to gather and perfect the make those who were formerly Satan’s captives, the instruments of His own warfare in power. At the same time He who ascended is the One who first descended into the lower parts of the earth, so as to fill all things. The measure to which the saints are to be brought up is that of the stature of the fullness of Christ Himself; the body being fitted together, and supplied by every joint in order for its own building up. We start with the individual. Then we get exhortations connected with the new man being created of God in righteousness and true holiness. It is only the new man which has to do with righteousness and holiness.

We are to be imitators of God, and act as Christ Himself has acted in love – the perfect expression of God – the new man. Furthermore, in this new man we are light in the Lord.   The measure of our walk and works is the light itself, of which Christ, if we are awake, is to us the perfect outshining. Hence we are to be wise in the midst of this world. In going through our relative duties, Paul speaks of the relationship of the church to Christ, founded on the working of His love. He first gives Christ’s giving Himself for it; next, Christ sanctifies and cleanses it by the word; and, thirdly, He presents it to Himself a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Two things are to be noted:

  1. That, in the analogy with Adam and Eve, Christ stands in the place both of Adam and God.
  2. The intimate connection between Christ’s present operation and the glory.

He sanctifies and cleanses the church, so that He might present it to Himself. Then, the church, as well as being His wife, is presented as His body. According to the analogy of Eve. Christ is looked at as nourishing and cherishing it, as a man would his own flesh (chap. 5).

Finally, Christians are exhorted to put on the whole armour of God, and in His might enter into combat, entirely dependent on Him (chap. 6).

 

Originally by JND.   Lightly edited by Sosthenes,  September 2014

– Se A Brief Outline of the Books of the Bible  for the original

The Purpose of God – The Church and the Jews – the Respective Centres of the Heavenly Glory and of the Earthly Glory in Christ

he Church’s domain

Centre of heavenly glory in Christ

Heaven

Earth

The Church’s domain

Centre of heavenly glory in Christ

The sun in the heavens – “set a tabernacle for the sun” (Ps. 19:4)

The church, angels, principalities, and powers

The Jews domainCentre of earthly glory in Christ

the nations will walk in the light of the sun. It will be manifested on the earth, and the earth will enjoy its blessings.

the people of Israel and the nations belong to the earth.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth

it was on the earth and among men that the divine and wonderful work of redemption was to be displayed; and this subject is revealed to us in all its fulness.

 Common
The Son Himself, who is the image and glory of God, will be their common centre, and the sun which will enlighten them both.

The Purpose of God

The Purpose of God

The Church And The Jews The Respective Centres Of The Heavenly Glory And Of The Earthly Glory In Christ.

Heaven

Earth

The Church’s domain

Centre of heavenly glory in Christ

The sun in the heavens – “set a tabernacle for the sun” (Ps. 19:4)

The church, angels, principalities, and powers

The Jews domainCentre of earthly glory in Christ

the nations will walk in the light of the sun. It will be manifested on the earth, and the earth will enjoy its blessings.

the people of Israel and the nations belong to the earth.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth

it was on the earth and among men that the divine and wonderful work of redemption was to be displayed; and this subject is revealed to us in all its fulness.

 

 

 

 

Common

The Son Himself, who is the image and glory of God, will be their common centre, and the sun which will enlighten them both

 

The Rest Of God In The New Creation By Means Of The Second Adam

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Christ The Heir – The Church Joint-Heir With Him, Through Resurrection

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All Things Put Under The Feet Of Man.

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Christ As Heir Receives The Inheritance In The Way Of Promise

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The Rejection By The Natural Seed Gives Occasion For The Introduction Of The Spiritual Seed Into The Heavenly Places As Joint-Heirs.

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Christ Exalted In The Heavens Prepares A Place For The Church, And Can Fulfil The Promises Made To Israel – Meanwhile The Church Is Called.

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At His Coming, He Receives The Inheritance With The Risen Church

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The Saints Judge The World

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The Kingdom Of The Father.

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